On July 1, 2017, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs posted an order in the Canada Gazette that the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Syrian Arab Republic will remain listed as foreign state supporters of terrorism in the Schedule to the Order Establishing a List of Foreign State Supporters of Terrorism. Pursuant to the State Immunity Act, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minster of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness are required to conduct a review of the list of state sponsors of terrorism every two years to determine if there are still reasonable grounds for the foreign state set out on the list to remain set out on the list. A review has been conducted and it was determined there are reasonable grounds to keep Iran and Syria on the list. As a result, an Order Accepting the Recommendation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Concerning the Two-year Review of the List of State Supporters of Terrorism has been published.
Canada first placed Iran on the List of Foreign State Supporters of Terrorism in September 2012. At that time, Minister Baird stated:
“Canada views the government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today … The government of Canada is formally listing Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism.”
Syria was also placed on the List of Foreign State Supporters of Terrorism in September 2012.
The effect of being listed on the List of Foreign State Supporters of Terrorism is that Canada does not grant diplomatic or state immunity. One consequence is that foreign parties can enforce judgments in Canadian courts. The Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act (the “Act”) allows victims of terrorism to sue perpetrators of terrorism and those who support them, including foreign states whose immunity has been lifted under the State Immunity Act, for loss or damage that has occurred as a result of an act of terrorism committed anywhere in the world.